HHS puts out RFI for new innovation and investment workgroup

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 16: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building is shown August 16, 2006 in Washington, DC. The HHS Building, also known as the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, is located at the foot of Capitol Hill and is named for Humphrey, who served as a U.S. senator from Minnesota and Vice President of the United States. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is looking for new ways to encourage public-private dialogue to drive innovation and investment in healthcare.

In a new request for information for a potential new Innovation and Investment Workgroup, HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said he's seeking ideas for how such a workgroup "facilitate constructive, high-level dialogue between HHS leadership and those focused on innovating and investing in the healthcare industry."

The RFI comes as HHS has been holding Startup Days to help tech innovators understand how to work with it and other federal agencies. HHS, for its part, recommended that emerging companies align with government goals, notably EHR interoperability, tackling the opioid crisis and pricing transparency. 

With the new RFI, HHS is exploring how such a workgroup would be structured, and how it could encourage collaboration that would "spur investment, increase competition, accelerate innovation, and allow capital investment" across the healthcare industry. Comments are due by the end of June.

Among the questions for which HHS is looking for answers: Should the workgroup explore barriers to innovation and competition in the healthcare industry? Should it encourage outside parties to tell how they're impacted by HHS regulatory requirements? Should it offer a forum for attendees to share how HHS could improve its guidance? Should it seek ways to encourage private-sector investment to help combat health crises? What other ways could HHS engage with subsectors of the healthcare and investment industries to drive innovation?

HHS is also looking for ideas to about how to structure meetings to best facilitate the sharing of information and individual perspectives from diverse stakeholder.

"The Department is interested in comments that propose alternatives for developing a durable and consistent approach to increase innovation and investment in the healthcare sector to improve the public health and well-being of Americans," said Hargan.

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